In my opinion are films in general a great medium to provide information for students, because they make learning interesting. Further it is easier to understand the given content in the film, because the spoken information is supported by visual content so the viewer is learning through looking and listening, which corresponds to the easiest way of gaining knowledge. From this point of view, I consider the movie Outsourced as a useful source to teach intercultural communication, because it provides insight in the Indian culture in an entertaining way and captured my interest during the whole film.
It became really clear how big the differences between Indian and American culture really is. In my opinion can this fact only be shown so explicitly in a film compared to other mediums eg. written texts, because the viewer can see the feelings and gestures of the Indian people and this may tell you more than thousand words. In addition, I could really empathize with Todd in all the situations where the culture clash turned up and he made mistakes. An advantage of the fact, that he made these mistakes is that you can learn from them. So watching the movie would definitely help you to prepare yourself for a stay in India.
Taking the content of the film in regard to answer the question whether the movie Outsourced is a useful film to teach intercultural communication, you always have to bear in mind, that the major purpose of such a film is to entertain the viewer. It is not a documentary, it is a mix between comedy, drama and romance. A further point that is rather critical is, that the film might be biased, because the producer wants to show the big culture clash between India and America and therefore some scenes might be presented exaggerated. On the other hand does the good critic concerning the film as a medium for teaching confirm that most of the scenes are quiet realistic.
The movie Outsourced is in my opinion useful for informing about intercultural communication, because it mentions a wide variety of aspects in Indian culture, even if some are only explained shortly. The film covers the religious part: The Hinduism is explained briefly and the festival Holy is introduced. Further you get informed about Indian food and their customs eg. you are only allowed to eat with your right hand.
The role of the family and women in India, especially their rights become clear due to the film character Asha. Two other very important aspects that are dealt with in the film are on one hand India on its way to a modern country with big companies and western style culture eg. McDonalds and on the other hand the huge gap between poor and rich people, that still exists. A very interesting scene regarding this point is, when Todd gets invited to share a meal with a poor Indian family. By analyzing this scene it becomes clear how hospitable Indians are even if they are poor.
You learn about these aspects out of the view of Todd, an American. That point gives the film a high value for us, because American culture and the German one are in a lot of aspects similar. So we would probably experience India in the same way Todd does in the film. Through the experiences of Todd and especially from Asha’s advices to Todd how to get to like India, you learn a lot that might be helpful for preparing a stay in India, because then you already know some essential points about India and you are familiar with its customs and traditions. All in all I see the movie outsourced as a useful film to teach intercultural communications and I would recommend everybody who is going to India to watch the movie to get a first general impression about the customs and traditions in India. However in the end one has to make his own experience in a foreign culture.